A Voice for Writing a Voice for Podcasting

Author Joanna Penn had to find her voice all over again as a podcaster

Joanna Penn starts every episode of The Creative Penn podcast with this salutation, knowing it might alienate some listeners. And she’s okay with that. Since releasing her first episode in 2009, the prolific British author has learned the value of clarity—not just in defining her target audience, but also in the way she conveys her message.

Penn launched her podcast to “to empower authors to take control of their writing career”—she herself being the first to need that help. In 2008, she’d self-published her first book, How to Enjoy Your Job…Or Find A New One, and despite promoting it on national television, sold only a handful of copies. She needed to reach more readers, so with little more than a landline, an MP3 recorder, and jangly nerves, she decided a podcast would be the way to do it.

It worked. Her interview-style show shares tips on everything from marketing to mindset. Notable guests include author and publishing consultant Jane Friedman, Creative Focus Workshop founder Jessica Abel, and John Lee Dumas, host of the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast.

Penn grew her audience by consistently releasing episodes that gave other authors the help she had desperately wanted. But Penn thinks one of her podcast’s greatest assets is the [...]

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